SATURDAY: The signing is now official, tweets Rangers executive vice president of communications John Blake. Lohse will join Triple-A Round Rock on Sunday.
12:08pm: The Rangers and veteran right-hander Kyle Lohse have agreed to terms on a deal, tweets MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. While Heyman doesn’t specifically state whether the contract is of the Major League or minor league variety, he’d tweeted earlier this morning that Texas was interested in a minor league deal with Lohse. Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets that Lohse will receive a $2MM base salary and up to $1.5MM worth of incentives on the deal.
Lohse, 37, was said to have worked out for clubs last week. The Scott Boras client is coming off arguably the worst season of his career, having pitched to a 5.85 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 152 1/3 innings in the final season of a three-year, $33MM pact with the Brewers. However, Lohse’s velocity, strikeout rate, ground-ball rate and control were all fairly consistent with his numbers from previous seasons. Lohse did experience a dramatic spike in his homer-to-flyball ratio, however, and his strand rate and BABIP each trended in the wrong direction as we well. Those red flags notwithstanding, Lohse topped 198 innings in both 2013 and 2014, pitching to a combined 3.45 ERA in that time, so there’s reason to believe that he can still contribute some productive innings at the big league level once he gets up to speed.
The Rangers recently lost right-hander A.J. Griffin to the disabled list due to a shoulder injury, and it’s yet unclear how much time he’ll require on the shelf. Their rotation presently consists of Cole Hamels, Derek Holland, Martin Perez and Colby Lewis, although Holland has struggled quite a bit this season and Perez’s innings could be monitored by the team after he threw just 104 1/3 combined innings between Double-A, Triple-A and the Majors last season in a return from Tommy John surgery. Texas also has ace Yu Darvish on the mend from his own Tommy John surgery, and he could return to action late this month or in early June, as he’s on a minor league rehab assignment right now.